Sidelined by disease, Jennifer Esposito calls ouster from 'Blue Bloods' 'shameful'
"Blue Bloods'" Jennifer Esposito is fighting mad. Shortly after Deadline.com reported that the actress -- who has played Donnie Wahlberg's partner Jackie Curatola on the CBS series for three seasons -- was written off the show after going on medical leave, Esposito took to Twitter to slam her bosses.
In a statement to Deadline Saturday, CBS TV Studios said Esposito, 39, was only able to work on a "part-time schedule" and that the show "regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence" as a result.
Though CBS declined to go into specifics about the reason for her departure, Esposito revealed in a series of angry tweets that she was forced to sit out upcoming episodes under doctors' orders as she received treatment for celiac disease.
"CBS put me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you needed a reduced schedule due to Celiac (disease)," tweeted Esposito, who suffers from the autoimmune disease of the small intestine.
"CBS didn't listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw! After a week off, my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was not truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise!" the actress continued. "It's been almost two months without bringing me back to work and keeping me from working anywhere else! Absolutely shameful behavior."
An outspoken advocate for those suffering with celiac, Esposito has already filmed her (tentatively) final "Blue Bloods" episode, which will air on Nov. 2. CBS intends to use a rotating cast of actresses to appear as Danny Reagan's temporary partner. Megan Ketch will be introduced as his first fill-in on the November 2 show, and appear in four episodes.
Said the studio: "(Jennifer) is a wonderfully talented actress and we hope that she will be able to return at some point in the future."
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